The family of a 94-year-old Moraine man who was beaten, bound and robbed during a Christmas home invasion is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the suspects.
Officers from the Moraine Police Division found the home in the 3500 block of Clearview Road ransacked and the widower Wayman “Pete” Donegia bloody and beaten to the point he was unable to cry out for help when they responded to check on him around 11:30 a.m. Sunday, police said.
Donegia also was robbed of his possessions during the incident, which is believed to have occurred sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, police said.
A family member called police after Donegia said his house was broken into. Moraine Fire Division paramedics took him to a local hospital for emergency treatment.
A preliminary investigation determined that at least two unknown suspects are involved who used at least one vehicle, police said.
Police are urging anyone who might have information about the crime to call 937-535-1166.
Ron Quillen, Donegia’s nephew, said his uncle is someone who would help anybody who would ask, is well-known in the community and has numerous friends.
“They know him from the city building to the rec center to the civic center. He’s been a pillar here. Lived at the same address for 30 (to) 40 years,” he said.
Because his uncle is “a little heard of hearing,” he didn’t hear the break-in, Quillen said.
“When the beating started, he was sound asleep,” he said. “Not only did they beat him, they tied him up and left him for dead ... so our family is very thankful that he’s still alive, but we also want these people off the street so this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
That’s why Donegia’s family is offering a $5,000 cash reward to anyone for information that leads to the arrest the suspects.
“We just thank God that he’s still alive, and he’s going to recover from this,” Quillen said.
Quillen said it was “heartbreaking” to see his uncle following the attack.
“I can’t go to the hospital,” he said. “I’ve seen pictures of his current condition. His eyes are swollen shut. His face is black and blue. He probably doesn’t weigh much over 100 pounds and I want to wait ‘til he’s a little better before I see him.”
Sgt. Andrew Parish said that in his more than 20 years working for the department, such a crime is “a rare occurrence.”
“I’ve not seen very many crimes of this (level of) violence, let alone on a holiday or a holiday weekend,” Parish said.
Quillen said Donegia’s immediate family, who moved to Florida years ago, is flying in from Florida to see him.
“He didn’t want to leave the community,” Quillen said. “He loves Moraine. They’ve encouraged him to move to Florida with them so they can help take care of him and provide him the safety and everything he needs, but Pete is a very independent man.”
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